Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

April 07, 1949

THE PRESIDENT. Well, the press made its own announcements this morning, so I have no special announcements to make at this time, but I will try to answer questions.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, will Secretary Royall remain in his present post?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that at this time.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, in your Budget Message in January you said when you found out what the cost of arms aid to Europe would be, you would ask Congress for some more money for it. Dr. Nourse has seemed to say it would be a mistake to assume that you add that figure to the January request for military expenditures?

THE PRESIDENT. The Budget Message stands as written. Dr. Nourse was invited to the meeting and to speak to them as an economist, which is what he did, and he had a perfect right to do that. There are things which have been taken out of the context in the Doctor's speech and distorted, so if you read the Doctor's speech you will get a different idea.

Q. To get it back into context, Mr. President, then there will be an additional request for funds for the Armed Forces.--

THE PRESIDENT. When the time comes to take care of that situation, I will meet it.1

1See Item 163.

Q. Mr. President, you might absorb as much as possible out of the present Budget--

THE PRESIDENT. I have no further comment to make on that. I have answered the question thoroughly and completely.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, have you anything to say about the difference of opinion as to whether members of your Advisory Council 2 should go before Committees of Congress or not?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that. There is an argument on between them on that subject, and that is a matter for them to settle, not for me.

2Council of Economic Advisers.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, the Star says there is a possibility of Vice Adm. Alan G. Kirk being Ambassador--

THE PRESIDENT. I saw that on the front page of the Star, and--

Q. Is there anything beyond that--

THE PRESIDENT.--I have no comment to make on it.

Q. Mr. President, have you decided yet on a new Ambassador?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have not.3

3Vice Adm. Alan G. Kirk was appointed by the President to be Ambassador to the Soviet Union on April 20, 1949. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on May 20, 1949.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, can you say when the Atlantic Treaty will go up to the Senate?

THE PRESIDENT. Just as soon as I receive it, It will go down to the Senate promptly. It hasn't come over yet from the State Department.

Q. Mr. President, I will give you an easy one, sir.


[6.] Q. Your first 4 years will be up on the 12th. Is there any comment you would like to make on your first 4 years as President?

THE PRESIDENT. I always say the first 4 years are the hardest. [Laughter]

[7.] Q. Mr. President, could you give us any idea as to when the arms implementation figures on the aid plan will go before Congress?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I can't. Just as soon as we are ready, I will let you know.

Q. Do you know, sir, whether that has reached the Budget yet?

THE PRESIDENT. It is under consideration by the Budget, by State, and by the defense forces.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, Secretary of the Navy Sullivan says he is interested in resuming his law practice. Do you think there is any possibility of his doing that?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know. I can't answer that question.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, what do you think of the compromise bill up on the Hill on retirement for veterans? They are putting in a bill--$72 a month for World War I veterans. Have you any comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not familiar with it, and I never comment on legislation until it is on my desk.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, can you clarify your remarks last night about the atomic bomb?4

THE PRESIDENT. They do not need clarification. If you will read it, it was quoted verbatim in nearly all the papers. The New York Times published it in full, and if you will read it carefully it needs no comment whatever. It is perfectly clear and explains itself.

4 See Item 70.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, were you particularly interested in the sesquicentennial celebration here in Washington5--

THE PRESIDENT. Yes I am. I hope they will have a successful one.

5See Item 79.

Q. They killed that item. They didn't okay it in the House Appropriations.

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't know about that.

Q. You are interested in that?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I am interested in that.

Q. Can't hear you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT. They want to know if I was interested in the sesquicentennial celebration here in Washington, and I said I was interested in it. [Laughter]

Q. Then I asked you whether you knew that they had killed the appropriation.

THE PRESIDENT. No, I didn't know they had killed the appropriation. Of course, an appropriation is never killed until it has passed both Houses.

Q. Yes.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, do you to renew your request for higher or--

THE PRESIDENT. I think I have said much as is necessary on that subject, and my position hasn't changed.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, do you wish to maintain the new farm ,price support program that Secretary Brannan offered to Congress--

THE PRESIDENT. The statement6 that Secretary Brannan offered to Congress speaks for itself, and I know exactly what is in it, and it's all right. That's all the comment I have to make on it.

6The statement made by Secretary Brannan on April 7, at a joint hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, is printed in the Congressional Record (vol. 95, p. 4035).

[14.] Q. Mr. President, will Mr. Bevin and Mr. Schuman,7 when they call on you today--is that purely a social visit, or will you discuss arms aid--

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that question, because they haven't talked to me.

7Ernest Bevin, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, and Robert Schuman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France.

Q. They requested it ?

THE PRESIDENT. At their request? No, I invited them to come call on me. It's a matter of courtesy.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, can you say yet who will be this Government's military representative in Paris on the North Atlantic alliance?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I cannot.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, you referred to the budget necessary for the foreign assistance program of the North Atlantic Pact. That did not actually include any item--

THE PRESIDENT. No. If that matter came up, it would be considered as a separate matter. That's what the Budget Message said, if I remember correctly.

Q. Yes. Does that mean that there would be an additional--

THE PRESIDENT. The situation hasn't changed.

Q. In other words, it will be considered as a separate item?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, who was it who distorted the Nourse speech?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, I don't know. Some commentator. They are always doing that. I can't even name them.

Q. Were the newspaper accounts distorted?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to ask General Eisenhower to come back into the military establishment on a permanent basis?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I do not.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, what would the cost of the foreign program probably be for the first year?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that question until it is worked out with the budget.

Q. I understand. Would it be greater, sir, or less--

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer the question, I say.

Q. That's all right.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, Chief of Staff General Bradley said in a speech in New York that it was wrong to assume that the United States expected Europe to bear the brunt of the first attack of an aggressor, if there were such an attack, to assume this country would retaliate

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that. I haven't read General Bradley's speech, and that may be out of context, too.

Q. It isn't, sir, and--

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on it.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, have you made a final decision on Mr. Joe Fox8 for the District Commissionership?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I will say what Mr. Ross said, Joe is not losing ground. [Laughter]

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

8 Joseph A. Fox of the Washington Star.

Note: President Truman's one hundred and seventy fifth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 1949.

Harry S Truman, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230114

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